Moveable feast

Moveable feast

In Christianity, a moveable feast or movable feast is a holy day – a feast day or a fast day – whose date is not fixed to a particular day of the calendar year but moves in response to the date of Easter, the date of which varies according to a complex formula. Easter is itself a "moveable feast".[citation needed]

In addition, in the Anglican Christian tradition, Boxing Day, the first working day after Christmas, is also a moveable feast, it is normally the 26th of December (which is also St Stephen's Day), but if Christmas Day falls on a Saturday then Boxing Day is the following Monday.

By extension, other religions' feasts are occasionally described by the same term. In addition many countries have secular holidays that are moveable, for instance to make holidays more consecutive; the term "moveable feast" is not used in this case however.

By metaphoric extension, a movable feast was used by Ernest Hemingway to mean the memory of a splendid place that continues to go with the moving traveler for the rest of life, after he has had the experience of it and gone away. The author used the term A Moveable Feast for the title of his late-life memoirs of his early life as a struggling writer in Paris in the 1920s. He said to a friend: "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."[1]


Moveable feasts in Christianity

  • Triodion – the period of 70 days before Easter (Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Greek-Catholic)
  • Septuagesima – 63 days (ninth Sunday) before Easter (Pre–Vatican II Calendar)
  • Saturday of Souls – 57 days before Easter (Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Greek-Catholic)
  • Sexagesima – 56 days (eighth Sunday) before Easter (Pre–Vatican II Calendar)
  • Quinquagesima Sunday – 49 days (seventh Sunday) before Easter (Pre–Vatican II Calendar)
  • Shrove Monday – 48 days before Easter. (Western Christianity)
  • Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras – 47 days before Easter. (Western Christianity; not technically a moveable feast, because it is not a holiday on any church calendar)
  • Ash Wednesday – 46 days before Easter. (Western Christianity; strictly speaking, not a feast but a fast, characterised by solemnity and acts of self-denial)
  • Triumph of Orthodoxy – 42 days before Easter (Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Greek-Catholic)
  • People's Sunday – 41 days before Easter (in Malta)
  • Mothering Sunday – 21 days before Easter (Anglicanism)
  • Passion Sunday – 14 days before Easter (Anglicanism)
  • Lazarus Saturday – 8 days before Easter (Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Greek-Catholic)
  • Palm Sunday – 7 days before Easter
  • Maundy Thursday – 3 days before Easter
  • Good Friday – 2 days before Easter (Good Friday is actually a fast rather than a feast. See Ash Wednesday above.)
  • Holy Saturday - 1 day before Easter
  • Easter – the date around which the others are placed
  • Saint Gregory's Day – 3 days after Easter (in Malta)
  • The Octave of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, also known as Low Sunday or Quasimodo Sunday – the Sunday after Easter.
  • Radonitsa – 8 or 9 days after Easter (Eastern Orthodox)
  • Ascension Day – 39 days after Easter
  • Pentecost – 49 days after Easter (50th day of Easter)
  • Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday – the day after Pentecost
  • Trinity Sunday – 56 days after Easter (Western Christianity)
  • All Saints – 56 days after Easter (Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Greek-Catholic), but in the West this feast is fixed on November 1
  • Corpus Christi – 60 days after Easter (Western Christianity)
  • feast days of some significant saints' days, if a moveable feast falls too close to their usual date.

Some of the fixed feasts in Christianity


  1. ^ Hotchner, A.E., Papa Hemingway, New York: De Capo Press, 2005, p.?

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • moveable feast — noun a religious holiday that falls on different dates in different years • Syn: ↑movable feast • Hypernyms: ↑feast day, ↑fete day • Hyponyms: ↑Easter, ↑Passover, ↑Pesach, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • moveable feast — noun a holy day whose date is not fixed to a particular day of the calendar year but moves in response to the date of Easter …   Wiktionary

  • A Moveable Feast — infobox Book | name = A Moveable Feast title orig = translator = author = Ernest Hemingway cover artist = country = United States language = English series = genre = Autobiography publisher = Scribners (USA) Jonathan Cape (UK) release date =… …   Wikipedia

  • a moveable feast — Meaning Feast days that have a date that moves from year to year. Origin Originated as a reference to the various Christian events that have a variable date from year to year. The date of Easter Day for instance follows these rather complex rules …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • A Moveable Feast — Paris ein Fest fürs Leben sind Erinnerungen von Ernest Hemingway, die 1965 unter dem englischen Titel Paris. A Moveable Feast erschienen. Hemingway schreibt darin über sein Leben 1921 1926 in Paris. In der Geschichte Ein gutes Café auf der Place… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • feast day — noun a day designated for feasting • Syn: ↑fete day • Hypernyms: ↑holiday • Hyponyms: ↑Rosh Hashanah, ↑Rosh Hashana, ↑Rosh Hashonah, ↑Rosh Hashona …   Useful english dictionary

  • Feast of the Unleavened Bread — noun (Judaism) a Jewish festival (traditionally 8 days from Nissan 15) celebrating the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt • Syn: ↑Passover, ↑Pesach, ↑Pesah • Topics: ↑Judaism • Hypernyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Feast of the Cross — Russian icon of Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (icon from Yaroslavl by Gury Nikitin, 1680. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). Liturgical year Western Advent …   Wikipedia

  • moveable — Movable Mov a*ble, a. [Cf. OF. movable. See {Move}.] 1. Capable of being moved, lifted, carried, drawn, turned, or conveyed, or in any way made to change place or posture; susceptible of motion; not fixed or stationary; as, a movable steam engine …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Corpus Christi (feast) — Corpus Christi procession (painting by Carl Emil Doepler) Corpus Christi (Latin for Body of Christ) is a Latin Rite solemnity, now designated the solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi).[1] …   Wikipedia